If money is time, than if we save time, we make money, right? At least, we’ll have the free time to decide whether or not we’d like to make more money (or whether we’d rather just hit the beach). But if you’re already coming up short with the given 24 hours, how are you supposed to save time short of petitioning the world for a 36-hour day?

The truth is, you don’t have to find hours of additional time per day in order to save time, get organized, and make a difference in your quality of life. Mere minutes a day adds up to hours of extra time each year – hours that you can do whatever you want with! And isn’t that kind of free time what we’re all looking for in the first place?

Here are our Lucky 7 – 7 simple life hacks to save hours of time each year.

7. Abandon Voicemail for Good

You miss a call. The caller leaves a voicemail. You dial the number to your voicemail. You wait an eternity for the prompt. You enter your password. You press “1.” You listen to a client or friend as they intone the magic words: “Hey, it’s me. Guess I missed you. Call me back.”

What a waste of time!

In the time it took to check your voicemail, you could’ve called the person back and gotten down to business. In a world of text messages, email and smartphones, voicemail has gone the route of the 8-track. Most phones have caller ID, so you already know who called. Unless your phone is off and there is an urgent message (and how often do either of those things happen?), voicemail is redundant and pointless.

You can disable your voicemail altogether, or leave a message asking callers to get in touch with you faster via text or email.

6. Make Your Schedule Known

If Tuesday mornings are your time to work on Project A, make sure clients from Project B know that you’ll be unavailable during this time. This will eliminate interruptions, help you focus, and ultimately help you complete each task faster and save time.

5. Automate Social Media

Websites like Buffer and Social Oomph allow you to send updates throughout the day without wasting time. By taking a few minutes at the beginning of each day to assemble relevant posts and comments, your social media will be consistently active while you’re busy doing other things.

4. Unsubscribe, already!

How many emails do you delete every day without even opening them? Set aside 10 minutes on a single day, and unsubscribe from all of those lists you not interested in. If you want to stay on the list but not deal with the email, create a filter that automatically archives the email.

3. Set Boundaries

Interruptions are not necessarily emergencies. Your time is just as valuable as the person’s who is interrupting you. Set a precedent early on in your relationship that emails will not necessarily be answered instantly, and that phone calls should be scheduled in advance.

2. Use a Recorder

Keep a digital recorder or pen and notepad on your person at all times. Your smartphone’s recording device is great, too. You can create to-do lists, track ideas, and save time by keeping all of your brilliant musings in one place. You’ll save time by not having to search for scribbly scraps of paper, and by avoiding instances of “I totally forgot to do that!” You’ll also be able to focus, knowing that the important item is saved for later when you’ll have time to get to it.

1. Cultivate Silence

Just the simple act of receiving an email can set off a chain reaction of beeps, buzzes, bings, and all manner of distracting things! Turn audio notifications off. They’re distracting and waste time. It’s not like you’re going to forget to check your  email, just because the buzzer didn’t ring, right?

What is your favorite creative way to save time?

photo credit: thefrugalmrs.com